Unraku was a puppetry company in Toronto, Canada that designed, built and performed puppetry for stage and screen. They also taught puppeteering workshops.

 

 

Unraku logo

Unraku is a Toronto-based collective of artists, puppeteers and puppet builders who get together to create sort-of-Bunraku puppetry we call "Unraku"! Photo credit: Unraku

Unraku

From left to right: Top row: Robin Polfuss, Andrew Young, Amanda Farquharson. Bottom row: Mathieu Rene, Stacey Gordon, Terri Crocker, Kelly Kirkham & myself Kristi Holt. Photo Credit: Unraku

Unraku - Puppeteering Workshop

Myself (the very pregnant one in black - yes, black IS slimming!) and Robin Polfuss of Unraku discussing mouth movement with puppets during an Unraku workshop.

Unraku - Amazing Acro-ba-chicks

A shot of Unraku's Amazing Acro-ba-chicks performed live on stage for Pig and Sheep. Photo credit: Unraku

Unraku - Jasper & Carl

Close-ups of the puppets built by Toronto based puppet troupe, Unraku. Photo credit: Unraku

Unraku - Film performance

Puppeteering in a short film by Unraku entitled Jasper & Carl. Left to right, Jason Amlin, Robin Polfuss & myself Kristi Holt. Photo credit: Unraku

Unraku - Live performance

Performing live onstage at an Unraku Puppet Slam in Toronto at The Cameron House with other members of Unraku.

Unraku - Puppet Slam

Performing live onstage at an Unraku Puppet Slam in Toronto at The Cameron House with other members of Unraku.

Unraku - Monster


Behind the scenes photos of "Monster" by Unraku.

 

Bunny puppets were created in my style of puppet - knitted, felted then hand sewn by the Unraku sewing team.

 

 

Unraku - Monster

Unraku - Monster

One of the 100% wool felted puppets for Monster with knitted/felted handmade carrots. Photo Credit: Unraku

Unraku - Monster

Unraku - Monster

The entire cast of bunnies from Monster by Unraku. Photo Credit: Unraku

Unraku - Monster

Unraku - Monster

A shot of the Monster on set attacking the bunnies cardboard city. Photo Credit: Unraku

Unraku - Monster

Unraku - Monster

Unraku was all about team work. The original members were all very versatile in their skill sets. We decided collectively that we liked the look of my particular style of puppet for the bunny characters. So I used a knitting machine & my washing machine over & over to create the wool felt fabric for the puppets. The Unraku sewing team jammed into Robin's studio to sew all the bunny puppets together! Photo Credit: Unraku

Unraku - Monster

Unraku - Monster

A gathering of unfinished bunny puppets waiting for various additions by the Unraku sewing team. Photo Credit: Unraku

Unraku - Monster

Unraku - Monster

Myself and a bunny puppet in progress. Photo Credit: Unraku

Unraku - Monster

Unraku - Monster

A close-up of one of the bunny puppets prior to the addition of arms. Photo Credit: Unraku

Unraku - Monster

Unraku - Monster

A close up of one of the miniature bunny puppets on set. Photo Credit: Unraku

Unraku - BearTown


Photos from behind the scenes on the set of Unraku's BearTown.

Kristi puppeteered Tumbles P. Bear with the assistance of Tumbles right hand puppeteer, Kelly Kirkham. Directed by Andrew Young.

 

Photo credits to Robin Hamill and Unraku.

Unraku - BearTown

Unraku - BearTown

Myself puppeteering/performing as Tumbles P. Bear answers the door.

Unraku - BearTown

Unraku - BearTown

Myself going over Tumbles P. Bear's lines with Alexander Winfield (Marshall the Moose, Nemesis). My partner Kelly Kirkham assisting.

Unraku - BearTown

Unraku - BearTown

Myself and my partner Kelly Kirkham posing as Tumbles P. Bear for some photos prior to shooting the opening scene of BearTown.

Unraku - BearTown

Unraku - BearTown

Puppeteers below set waiting. Myself in the centre, my puppeteering partner Kelly Kirkham to the right.

Unraku - BearTown

Unraku - BearTown

Myself and my puppeteering partner Kelly Kirkham taking direction from Andrew Young for the upcoming scene with Tumbles P. Bear.

Unraku - BearTown

Unraku - BearTown

Tumbles P. Bear talking to his cockroach room-mates to let them know he is going to answer the door.

Unraku - BearTown

Unraku - BearTown

Myself puppeteering/performing Tumbles P. Bear as he answers the door.

Unraku - BearTown

Unraku - BearTown

Myself puppeteering/performing Tumbles P. Bear as he is speaking with Marshall the Moose at the door.

Unraku - BearTown

Unraku - BearTown

Myself puppeteering/performingTumbles P. Bear for Unraku's BearTown. (The safety glasses were for protection from the incoming attack of Ninja puppets.)

Unraku - BearTown

Unraku - BearTown

Myself puppeteering/performing Tumbles P. Bear. He is realizing that he is about to be bagged by a team of Ninjas.

Unraku - BearTown

Unraku - BearTown

Watching playback between takes with Tumbles P. Bear.

Unraku - BearTown

Unraku - BearTown

Myself and Tumbles P. Bear waiting under set. The dreamy look on my face is due to a new addition to my family, my daughter Alexandra.

Unraku - BearTown

Unraku - BearTown

Myself adjusting my cockroach puppet's sunglasses before we get into position for the next scene.

Unraku - BearTown

Unraku - BearTown

Myself and a musician cockroach puppet waiting for the upcoming scene.